June 7-8 2023 | Houston, Texas | George R. Brown Convention Center

Speaker’s Corner

* Schedule Change: Danh Nguyen has been moved from Wednesday at 12:00 PM to Thursday at 10:00 AM.


Wednesday, June 19th

STAGE ONE: New Student Research Technologies

11:00 am

Innovations in Process Technology Training

By Jim Griffin, Associate Vice Chancellor/Senior Vice President for Petrochemical, Engineering, and Technology, San Jacinto College

In 2015, San Jacinto College began an ongoing dialog with East Harris County Manufacturing Association (EHCMA) regarding a new center for petrochemical, energy and technology, as future workforce concerns had been identified by EHCMA. In partnership with industry and academia, a long-term plan was developed to meet the growing workforce need. Fast forward to 2019 and you will see an eighteen-acre world-class educational facility at SJC.

This presentation will highlight the processes of collaboration, best-practice implementation and student success. Griffin will discuss the challenges of designing and constructing thirty-two custom laboratories, in collaboration with over thirty industry partners. The partnership, however, doesn’t end there. This long-term partnership between industry and academia is designed to continually improve the curriculum, content delivery and assessment for future generations. 


12:00 pm

A New Water Source: Fog Harvesting Applications

By Danh Nguyen, Student, San Jacinto College

The world is struggling to secure water resources for basic human needs, such as drinking water, agriculture, and sanitation. For some communities in arid regions, the only moisture available to them is in the form of fog. Fog harvesting refers to the collection of water from fog using large pieces of vertical mesh to make the fog-droplets flow down into collecting devices. Many of these communities are located far away from research labs and have limited funds to invest in any water infrastructure.

The objective of this work is to analyze the viability of different mesh materials for use in fog harvesting applications. The group has analyzed mesh samples in controlled laboratory conditions. For the laboratory conditions, the group has designed and built a water-based system that creates fog in order to recreate the fog condition in the lab environment. Under controlled conditions using the simulated fog, different mesh materials with different fiber patterns and structures are tested for their ability to capture fog droplets. The amount of water being captured by the device over the amount of water used in the fog device represents the water capture effectiveness of the mesh. The mesh materials under consideration include polypropylene, nylon, PLA, PVC, and galvanized steel. These mesh materials were selected based on their general availability and lost cost, since large quantities would be required to scale up any fog-harvesting system to serve a community. The results of this work will aid in producing a larger fog-harvesting system as it allows us to further our studies of the materials that are used to collect fog. 


1:00 pm

Analysis of Exposed 3D Printed Materials in Low Earth Orbit on the International Space Station

By Tyler O’Neal, Student, San Jacinto College

The race to establish stations on the moon, and to have mankind reach Mars, means these space outposts will need to have some capability to make their own tools and will use 3D printing in some form to complete their missions. Prior to this, the behavior of 3D printed material, such as polylactide (PLA), must be understood within space environments.

This research seeks to determine the physical and chemical alterations that occur to a set samples of PLA when exposed to conditions of space in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), taking into consideration the time, temperature, ultraviolet intensity, and Thermoelectric Quartz Crystal Microbalance (TQCM) values. In determining a PLA with the lowest volatility with highest durability and reliability, future tools constructed through this medium may prove beneficial in the furtherment of human exploration of space.

SpaceX CRS-14 transported the samples to the International Space Station for a scheduled six –twelve-month duration, in which the samples received exposure to space for one orbit (1.5 hours) as sensors recorded critical data. After the mission duration, the samples will be returned to Earth for examination through means of Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) so as to conduct microanalysis and determine chemical concentrations of the returned samples. The exposed samples will be compared to the controlled samples (no space exposure) to measure the alterations in the chemical structure and physical properties to verify the effects of space exposure, and the extent of the alterations. This research will present the baseline data for the control samples and will present the information from the exposed samples that have been received while the samples are in orbit. 


2:00 pm

Utilization of NASA satellite and EPA Ground Data to Understand Long-term Air Pollution over Six Major Texas Cities

By Arjang Geramirad, Student, San Jacinto College

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a toxic air pollutant which aggravates respiratory disease, especially in children and asthmatics. It is also a precursor for ozone (O3) and nitrate particulate matters, both of which have deleterious effects in human health.

This study compares multi-year (2005-2018) nitrogen oxide (NOx=NO+NO2) trends over six major cities (Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and El Paso) in Texas, USA. We retrieve the NOx from ozone measuring instrument (OMI) abroad the Aura satellite and compare the NOx in situ surface measurements from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Air Quality System (AQS) network. This work has shown that OMI and AQS detected substantial decrease (~10-40%) of nitrogen dioxide, NO2, level over the Texas major cities in the last decade due to the implementation of pollution control and technological advancements. However, Austin EPA measurements exhibited substantial increase ( ~200% ) in NO2 levels.  All the observations, except Austin, seem to be correlated for satellite and ground measurements. The numerous petrochemical industries, and vehicular emissions play a large role in Texas’s most populous cities’ air pollution events. Most of these cities are moderate nonattainment regions for ozone and have a history of severe summer ozone episodes. We explore how the changes in NOx impact the trends in O3 and particulate matter using both observations and model study. Finally, these studied areas are among the major populous cities in the Texas, where elevated O3 and fine particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometer in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5) level pose major environmental and health concerns due to rapid economic growth. 


3:00 pm

Project Geminus: Miniature Combined Cycle Portable Power Generator

By Alex Talas, Eliabet Hernandez, Mathew Henzell, Tola Oyeleke, Carmen Becerra – Students, University of Houston

Current portable gasoline-fueled generators are convenient, easy to operate, and common, but are exceptionally wasteful with efficiencies between 10 to 20%. The Geminus team is a capstone group at the University of Houston designing and testing a new type of miniature combined-cycle generator that is both portable and nearly twice as efficient by converting exhaust waste heat into additional power. This will be accomplished through high-pressure steam generation with radial turbines operating a Rankine cycle system with a contemporary gasoline engine. Our current timeline expects initial prototype assembly finished by August 2019 with refinement completed by November. Research and component specifications are already completed.

Major components to this device include shell-and-tube heat exchanges, radial turbines, condensers, high pressure piping, high pressure water pumps, and control valves to regulate the high pressure, high temperature steam automatically. The prototype will be constructed from standardized pressure vessel and automotive components. Current estimates have shown an 89% increase in efficiency and a 47% reduction in fuel consumption. These savings are expected to pay-off for the additional investment in additional components while also reducing air pollution and increasing energy resiliency for the user. When projected over the $5.4 billion portable generator market, efficiency gains and emission reductions are significant. 


Wednesday, June 19th 

STAGE TWO: New Industry Technologies & Innovations

10:00 am

Exhibiting for Success

By Jill Schoenhofer, Corporate Trade Show Trainer, WellConnected


77% of visitors to trade shows have buying power. Find out how to generate more business when exhibiting at this show with Jill Schoenhofer, MBA in marketing and trade show expert.

Topics Covered:

Surprising statistics about trade show success, The Do’s and Don’ts behaviour during the show, How to qualify potential clients so you are efficient, Have a clear and engaging message about your business to attract the right clients, Prioritize your leads with the A,B,C system, Engage potential clients and work towards the sale, How to set up a meeting on the spot, How to say “goodbye” to attendees wasting your time, Follow up ideas to gain long term business.


11:00 am

Communication necessary to achieve Low-E valve sealing compliance

By Ron Frisard, Global Training Manager, A.W. Chesterton

In today’s complex world of fugitive emissions valve sealing, it is important that multiple, distinct groups communicate.  These groups need to have 24/7 access to important data that will ensure each valve will meet low emission standards.  This presentation will focus on the type of information and processes required for proper valve packing installation that will result in compliance to consent decree limits. 

The groups that need to be working together include people from the plant (Maintenance, Engineering, and LDAR), outside or inside valve shop technicians, valve manufacturers, and valve packing manufacturers.  All these groups need to review and update important information including: Packing style, Packing size, Packing Arrangement, Packing Torque, Installation date, Warranty length and end date, Testing documentation. The discussion will review in detail each of these points and why they are important for Low-E sealability as well as also show examples using a cloud-based solution for this process. 


12:00 pm

Spring Washers to Assist in Reducing Fugitive Emissions in Valve, Actuator & Gasketed Flange Joint Applications

By George P. Davet, Chief Engineer, Executive Vice President & Owner, Solon Manufacturing Company

Valve leaks at the stem are a common industry challenge. Leak prevention is critical to ensure safety and avoid costly emission fees and enforcement actions. Valve stem seals need stress to be effective and valve live loading, or the application of a spring load to the gland follower of a packed valve, is an effective measure to reduce the loss of packing stress.

This presentation will include a live demonstration tool with impactful visual aids. The team has designed a test fixture which adds a visual learning experience showcasing the use of Belleville springs on a live-loaded flange. The springs add elasticity to help offset the loss of preload due to yielding. If a gasket yields, there will be a loss of load. However, it is difficult to show this in practice since bolt preload is seldom monitored after installation. The text fixture consists of a flange with eight bolts that act as a load cell so the force on each bolt can be displayed. This flange demonstration tool includes four bolts with Belleville springs and four bolts with flat washers. The audience will watch the bolts as they are tightened to the aim preload. They will witness the elastic interactions between the bolts during the tightening process. The fixture will then simulate a yield in the system, and this will unload the bolts. The graphical display will show how preload changes real-time as the yielding occurs. 


1:00 pm

The Evolution of Electric Actuators

By Talbot Calbot, Technical Sales

In the beginning, there was a flash, a BIG BANG and the electric actuator was created. We have evolved from large bulky enclosures with simple electric in order to power automated valves to now smaller, lighter enclosures that can accept wireless signals. We are evolving toward a truly smart actuator, with precise control and less down time.  What a time to be alive! Stop by this presentation to learn about the roots of electric actuation and where the industry is heading.


2:00 pm

The ABCs of Solenoid Valve Selection for Process Valve Automation

By Joseph D. McHugh II, Business Development Manager for Process Industries, Emerson

When it comes to process valve automation, customer challenges are being driven by demand for increased safety and reliability, increased production time and increased profitability, as well as environmental conditions and global requirements.

Common customer challenges include:

  • Global Requirements
  • Safety and Reliability
  • Standards Compliance
  • Material Compatibility
  • Stroke Speed Requirements
  • Power Consumption

Benefits of Proper Solenoid Valve Selection:

Critical automated process valves, emergency shutdown (ESD) valves, safety shutdown valves and valves in high reliability applications can and do benefit from more scrutiny on the controls executing their actuation. Low power coils, SIL capability, flow capacities and materials of construction all contribute to proper selection of the actuation component for these critical assemblies. The proper selection of these controls combined with end user historical experiences results in less complicated and more reliable process valve performance that directly corresponds to a monetary savings that can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars from increased production time. 


3:00 pm

Quick, Easy and Non-Invasive, In-Line Valve Performance Testing

By Dave Anderson, Sales & Marketing Manager, Score Diagnostics

The best available technology for quickly, easily and non-invasively finding leaks in valves - whilst they are still installed in line - is to use an acoustic emissions (AE) testing tool. Score Diagnostics / Score Valve Services’ MIDAS Meter® device allows users to immediately quantify all through seat leaks found and then trend any growth in those leak rates over time. This highly efficient in-line valve monitoring approach delivers a major advantage in the optimization of valve management and maintenance and ensures process safety, uptime and efficiency is always maintained. The meter delivers clear and simple results to understand Valve Insights™ that drive maintenance activities towards Value Based Maintenance.

Come and try the device for yourself at this interactive demonstration to see just how effective it is. This field-proven device is already in widespread use throughout the world and case studies will be shared to show the value it has added to valve owners’ asset integrity management programs. 


Thursday, June 20th

STAGE ONE: New Student Research Technologies

11:00 am

Regulating fluids in an educational venipuncture device

By Steven Presutti & Isabelle Ramirez, Students, San Jacinto College

The medical industry is requiring higher degrees for those seeking to enter the nursing field. To meet this need, community colleges are expanding their curriculum to include four-year degrees for nursing. Along with the expanded curriculum, students need to also have the maximum amount of hands on training possible prior to practicing their profession on a human patient.

This project endeavors to build a venipuncture model that has 1) the ability to adjust the model based on student skill set, 2) faculty and student feedback, 3) increase the current capability of our simulation laboratory, and 4) not impose increasing lab fees on the student body. This project has four major groups, skin development, programming, fabrication, and fluid flow. For the fluid flow portion of this project, Arduino Uno boards have been used to control a pump to simulate the flow of artificial blood through tubing that simulated the veins in the arm. By controlling the fluid that goes through the device, different medical conditions can be simulated which are not possible on our current laboratory equipment. This means that nurses can experience atypical patient conditions that have not been possible before. This will result in nursing professionals that are better prepared when they enter the medical field. 


12:00 pm

LED Lighting System for Portable Bags

By Alexis Herazo, Student, San Jacinto College

Handbags and diaper bags are necessary accessories for those who are constantly on the move. Most handbags and diaper bags however lack a light source, which presents a problem when trying to locate contents in the bag. This presentation aims to provide an upgrade to the outdated functions of the handbag and diaper bag.

LED lights to illuminate the inside of the bag, the lux sensor controls the natural light level that initiates operation and prevents the light from operating when not in use, and a USB output source to provides a charging port for small devices such as a cell phone for the consumer's convenience. To create this system, a Circuit Playground Express is required that has the built in Lux sensor, NeoPixel LED light, and Bluefruit module for Bluetooth, as well as a rechargeable battery, to control the light and LUX sensor. The light is placed at the top of the bag, which is all powered by the rechargeable battery pack. The NeoPixel light is then controlled by the Circuity Playground Express once programmed and connected. The LUX sensor built into the Playground is programmed to read environmental lighting and adjust itself according to the surrounding brightness. The components (battery and wiring) are all stored at the bottom of the bag in a 3D printed box which is sealed with silicone for water resistance. Upgrading to an air-cooling system using a refrigerant system in future studies, the device would be able to use on all types of portable bags and the consumers will have adequate smart technology needed to make traveling and preserving their foods for long periods of time. 


1:00 pm

Protection of Habitability Structures on Mars with an Acoustic Flame Suppression System

By Joshua Rodriguez, Student, San Jacinto College

Permanent human habitation on Mars is not viable without shelter and a renewable food source. A Swarm rover mission to Mars is necessary to improve human habitation viability by protecting and maintaining habitability structures. Swarmies are rovers that mimic ant communication and scouting behaviors. Habitability structures are mission assets, like greenhouses and habitats, that have an environmental control system (ECS). A pressure regulating shut-off valve in the ECS maintains the internal conditions of structures to support human habitability.

This presentation discusses the simulation of a Swarm rover mission to Mars using Gazebo, the Robot Operating System, and Blender. The Swarm rover mission objective is to protect and maintain a greenhouse in a Martian environment. Greenhouse protection and maintenance includes monitoring and extinguishing greenhouse fires with an Acoustic Flame Suppression System that will be mounted on Swarm rovers that operate autonomously. The Acoustic Flame Suppression System shall have a heat detector and a speaker that emits single tone acoustic waves at 30 Hz. Fire behavior changes under different amounts of gravity. The computational fluid dynamics simulator in Blender will simulate fire under Martian gravity and the acoustic waves emitted by the Acoustic Flame Suppression System. The mission simulation tests the efficacy of acoustic waves to extinguish a fire under the influence of Martian gravity. The Robot Operating System and Gazebo are used to simulate and test the ability of Swarm rovers to locate a fire. 


Thursday, June 20th 

STAGE TWO: New Industry Technologies & Innovations

10:00 am

Low Fugitive Emissions in Valves

By Gil Perez, VP Product Technology & Strategic Initiatives, Velan

The demand for low fugitive emission (FE) performance in valves has been evolving over the decades. Today, we take for granted that valves used in process industries will incorporate low fugitive emissions technology. The standards that define low emission requirements continue to undergo changes. What are these standards, how do they compare to one another, what are the challenges in balancing between low FE requirements and overall valve design and performance, and where are FE standards going next? This presentation addresses these questions, focusing on the two principle global fugitive emissions standard regimes used in process valve applications: API and ISO. 


11:00 am

The Adoption of the Triple Offset Valve Across Expanded Process Conditions

By Mark Shorback, National Product Manager, Crane CP&E

This presentation will demonstrate the Crane FKX9000 Advanced stem seal and bearing protection, expanding the application of Triple Offset Butterfly valves beyond the traditional scope. 


11:30 am

XOMOX®XP3 - The First Sleeved Plug Valve Capable of Passing Four Thermal Cycles Without Packing Adjustments

By Megan Cider, Regional Business Line Manager Sleeved Plug Valves, Crane CP&E

This presentation will showcase Crane XOMOX® XP3 sleeved plug valve, incorporating innovative stem packing cartridge technology to provide optimal fugitive emissions performance.


1:00 pm

Self-contained Electro-Hydraulic Operator with Advanced Diagnostics for Fail-Safe Valve Operation

By Eric Yen, Marketing Manager – Speciality Products & Guy Guillet, Senior Field Service Technician, Emerson

In this presentation, learn how to get valve diagnostics information through your actuation solution. The Bettis Smart Electro-Hydraulic Operator, or EHO, is a smart quarter-turn fail-safe solution. Aside from being a reliable fail-safe solution for ESD valves, the EHO’s smart feature will inform the operator of the status of the actuator and information about the ESD valve. The Smart EHO provides advanced diagnostics over Modbus, HART, Foundation Field, and even wireless HART. The EHO integrated electronics provides you with the ability to do partial stroke testing, numerous alerts and alarms, a self-diagnostic testing feature, and much more. Staying informed on the status of your ESD solution is critical for the operation and safety of your facility.


2:00 pm

Valve Packing Installation Training Device

By Joel Baulch, Director – Engineering and Technical Services, Teadit

Teadit will demonstrate best practices for packing installation for Fugitive Emission service conditions utilizing their unique demonstration valve stuffing box. The device is equipped with strain gages, and has a friendly graphics display, which allows for a great visualization of proper technique. Proper technique includes such concepts as: preparation of equipment; cleaning/inspection; sizing of packing; setting of the packing rings; application of torque; assembly of the equipment; release for service. Fugitive Emission service conditions are described as warrantied leak free for extended periods of time. As such, much care and consideration must go into the installation of the packing material.